Being a collectibles dealer is an exciting and rewarding profession or hobby. Collectibles dealers may sell a variety of collectibles, like memorabilia, comic books, glassware, and so on, but many often specialize in one type of item, such as stamps, coins, sports cards, or autographs.
Whatever type of collectibles dealer you are, you need tailored insurance coverage—from an insurance company who specializes in covering collectibles—to make sure your valuable inventory is protected, no matter where you go.
Whether you deal collectibles online, from an office or storefront, or at exhibits or shows, you need collectibles dealer business insurance to cover the risks to your stock, as well as any other business-related property that you have. You also need to protect yourself from lawsuits if someone claims you’ve been negligent in some way.
An independent insurance agent can help you find collectibles dealer insurance for the peace of mind you need.
Why Do You Need Collectibles Dealer Insurance?
The main purpose for having collectibles dealer insurance is to reimburse you for your financial losses in the event of some type of damage or loss. Most collectibles dealers need several insurance policies that cover them from things like fire, burglary, theft, flood, accidental breakage, and natural disasters.
You may occasionally take some of your collectibles to sell at exhibitions or shows for collectibles dealers. What’s more, you may store and sell items that are on consignment from private owners.
The risks to your inventory are immense, and with varying ownership arrangements and items on the move, your insurance coverage must cover a variety of risks and locations.
What’s more, if you work out of a permanent location in addition to shows and exhibits, you need to protect your building and all of its other contents, your customers, and your employees from mishaps, injuries, and property damage that can occur during the normal course of operating a shop.
If you operate out of your home, it’s important to understand that your homeowners insurance policy will not offer sufficient coverage for your inventory or your liability risks.
Homeowners insurance usually limits coverage for personal property (in this case, your valuable inventory) to a percentage of the total value of your home. Homeowners insurance also limits coverage for individual items, and does not cover losses due to floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Collectibles dealer insurance, as opposed to homeowners insurance, also ensures that your items are covered for their replacement cost value.
This means that if you have a loss, you’ll be covered for the value of the item at the time of the loss (including appreciation), rather than the value of the item at the time of purchase, which may be significantly less.
What Does Collectibles Dealer Insurance Cover?
Your collectibles dealer insurance policy should cover several basic areas:
- Collectibles on display in your shop or office space (if applicable)
- Collectibles held in off-site storage or at your home
- Collectibles traveling to off-site shows while at the show and while in transit
- Collectibles that are being mailed or shipped to customers
- Collectibles owned by others being shown on your sales floor or at a show or being sold on consignment
- Your physical shop structure (if applicable) and items like furniture, fixtures, and computers
- Employees, vendors, customers, and any members of the general public visiting your shop (if applicable)
First, you need tailored coverage for your collectibles— whatever they are and wherever they may be—for their full and appropriate value. An independent insurance agent can help you find a carrier that specializes in the type of collectibles that you have and the types of scenarios that you work in.
Talk to your insurance agent about “all-risk” coverage that protects your unique collectibles from a variety of perils (not just certain “named perils”). This means you’d be covered for any damage that occurs regardless of cause unless specifically excluded from your policy.
It is also essential to consider “wall-to-wall” coverage that protects your collections (including items on loan from others) while they are in transit or being displayed or stored off-site.
Your items need coverage while they are in the possession of freight forwarders, auction houses, storage facilities, or anywhere else they may be moved to or stored.
Items in transit must be protected whether they are on a truck, plane, boat, or any other form of transportation traveling to anywhere in the world.
Your collectibles dealer insurance should include coverage for any non-owned or partially owned items that are in your care, custody and control, but are on loan from another shop or private collection or that you have agreed to insure.
Stamp Dealers Insurance
Stamp dealers need customized stamp dealer insurance from an insurance company that specializes in stamps or other related items. You’ll need coverage for your collection itself as well as for your dealer activities including stamp dealing from your home, traveling to shows, mailing or shipping stamps, and selling on consignment stamps that belong to others.
Your stamp dealer insurance policies should cover:
- Coverage for your collection at its appraised value
- Coverage for your inventory or stock when it is away from your premises (home, office, or storefront) including while it is in transit and while it is displayed at a show or exhibition
- Liability coverage for your activities at shows and exhibitions (protects you if you are sued for injuring someone or causing property damage as a result of your activities at a show or exhibition)
- Mailing and shipping coverage
- Property coverage if you operate out of an office or storefront
- General liability coverage to protect you from lawsuits
- Coverage for property of others that are being sold on consignment or that you have agreed to insure (all ownership interests and agreements should be documented)
- Coverage for inventory in storage
Your stamp collector coverage should include coverage for accidental breakage, burglary, fire, flood, items in transit or in the mail, natural disasters, and theft. It’s important to know what specific causes of loss are not covered as well.
Autograph Dealers Insurance
If you are an autograph or memorabilia dealer, it’s important to get your collectibles dealer insurance from an insurance company who specializes in what you do. You’ll need to work with an independent insurance agent who can help you find the best carrier for your autograph collection and dealer activities.
You need autograph dealer coverage that is specifically designed for collectibles dealers. These policies will typically cover your inventory on a replacement cost basis, ensuring you’ll be reimbursed for what an item is worth now, not at the time that you purchased it.
Many collectibles dealer insurance policies will offer blanket coverage, meaning that you do not have to schedule each item separately with an associated value and coverage limit. This allows you to categorize your items (e.g., autographs, antiques, movie memorabilia, etc.) and have a coverage limit for each category.
Your autograph dealer insurance should include “all-risk” coverage, which means your inventory losses would be subject to minimal exclusions. Your inventory should also be covered while it is being mailed or while it is in transit to a show or exhibition and while it is on display at any location.
Coin Dealers Insurance
Numismatic dealers cannot leave their valuable collections unprotected. Whether you operate your coin dealer business out of your home or an office or store, you need to make sure your coin collections have adequate insurance coverage.
That way, if an item or items are lost or damaged, you’ll be reimbursed for your financial losses and can continue to operate.
Replacement cost coverage is important for coin dealers. This means that in the event of a loss, you’ll be reimbursed for the current market value of the item at the time of the loss.
Many of your items will appreciate in value over time. Why purchase insurance that only covers you for it’s original purchase price, not what it is worth at the time of the loss?
Coin dealer coverage usually protects you from losses due to fire, lightning, vandalism, theft, and accidental breakage. Many coin dealers will purchase “all-risk” coverage, which offers comprehensive coverage for your inventory with minimal exclusions.
Be sure to purchase your coin dealer insurance from an insurance company who specializes in insuring coin dealers. Your coin dealer insurance must cover:
- Inventory at any location including in your shop, in a storage facility, in your office or your home, and at shows or exhibits
- Inventory that is in transit to or from a customer, an exhibit or show, etc.
- Inventory in your care, custody, or control that belongs to someone else but is being sold on consignment
- Covered causes of loss should include fire, lightning, windstorm, burglary, robbery, vandalism, and accidental breakage.
Be sure to understand what causes of loss are specifically excluded and how you can protect yourself in those situations.
Sports Cards Dealers Insurance
Sports cards and memorabilia dealers have proliferated in recent years, as sports fans and collectors want to own a little piece of their glorified heroes.
Whether you are only a sports cards dealer, or you offer additional sports collectibles like World Series memorabilia or signed jerseys, you need to protect your highly flammable and water-sensitive inventory from things like fire, severe storms, floods, and other ways in which they can be damaged or destroyed.
You’ll need to protect your sports cards inventory from:
- Accidental Breakage
- Loss in the mail
- Natural disasters
Your sports cards dealer insurance must cover your inventory while it is in transit and while it is away from its “permanent location.” This includes coverage for your stock while it is at exhibitions, and coverage for items being held in storage facilities.
Your sports cards dealer insurance should be purchased from a carrier who specializes in covering collectibles dealers so you can be sure you have protection in all of the situations that are unique to your business.
There are several insurance companies out there who cater to your specific risk exposures. An independent insurance agent can help you find the best carrier for your sports cards business.
And remember, you’ll need “all-risk” or “blanket coverage” that comes with minimal exclusions. Most all-risk polices will exclude coverage for damage caused by government seizure, war, and rodents.
You’ll also want to be sure to maintain an accurate inventory at all times so that in the event of a loss you’ll be able to expedite the claims process.
Other Basic Business Insurance Coverage for Collectibles Dealers
What’s most important is for you to protect your business from all that can go wrong. You will also need a variety of more traditional business insurance policies to complete your collectibles dealer coverage.
Your additional business insurance policies should cover your liability risks (risks to injury or property damage to someone who comes in contact with your business) and your other property risks including any commercial space that you occupy—such as an office, a permanent store or shop, or an exhibition booth.
Talk to your independent insurance agent to see how the following policies can help protect your business.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: Offers financial protection if a person is injured on your premises or if someone (vendor, delivery person, customer) sustains some type of property damage as a result of your operations. If a customer trips and falls in your shop, or trips over a power cord in your exhibit space and is injured, this policy would cover the medical bills or other expenses related to the accident.
- Commercial property insurance: Helps you rebuild or make repairs to your commercial space when an unexpected event, like a fire, a flood, hail, lightning, or a tornado, causes a loss. If you operate out of an office, warehouse, or various exhibit spaces, you need coverage for all of your property in addition to your collectibles inventory. Commercial property insurance helps you replace, rebuild, or repair computers, cash registers, inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more after a covered event.
- Business interruption coverage: Reimburses you if you sustain a substantial loss of revenue or you must close your doors temporarily after some type of covered loss. If a windstorm blows down part of your roof and you must close for repairs, this coverage pays for lost income, salaries, and other expenses during that time. It may also help to pay for relocation expenses if you must set up a temporary space.
In addition to business property and liability insurance for your business, you might need a variety of additional stand-alone policies or policy endorsements. Your need for these policies depends on the extent of your business activities and where they take place.
Talk with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need:
- Valuable papers coverage: Pays to reproduce valuable papers, such as financial documents, ownership records, and authenticity documentation for your collectibles
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of several other policies you might have including commercial general liability or employer’s liability
If you have any employees, you might need:
- Employer’s liability insurance: Covers you if a current of former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job
- Employee crime and dishonesty coverage: Protects your business from the costs of theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees
How Much Does Collectibles Shop Insurance Cost?
The cost of specialty collectibles dealer coverage varies greatly from one dealer to the next. Your costs are based on the value of your inventory, the amount of travel that you do with your inventory, the coverage limits and different policies that you need, and the deductibles that you choose.
If you operate out of a storefront or shop, your insurance costs will vary depending on the size and location of the shop, whether or not you have employees and even the crime and weather risks in your city.
Talk to an experienced independent insurance agent who can uncover all of your risks and find the policy options that specifically address them.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need to protect your collectibles business from a variety of costly problems.
Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right collectibles dealer insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details and options.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get, but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can omit important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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